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What Polish foods do foreigners generally not take to?



OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
7 May 2017  #31

Flaki isn't a soup

Nowadays Polish flaki (in the US Polonia known by the diminutive form flaczki) is most often a thickish soup or pottage. But it can also be a potrawka, a kind of ragoût, often served with marrow dumplings. The catering and food industries mainly promote, but the ragoût style can still be encountered sporadically in Polish homes.


DominicB - | 2,219    
7 May 2017  #32

@rozumiemnic

Seems you're right.

youtube.com/watch?v=68m8nFupThI

I spent a half-year in Colchester in the 1980's, my colleagues kept telling me I absolutely had to try them when I visited London. It sounded intriguing, and was eager to try them. Sadly, the opportunity never arose.
cms 9 | 1,043    
7 May 2017  #33

When I have flaki here in my relatives homes it is always a soup. I will manage the liquid but tend to leave the flaki themselves in the bottom of the bowl. I had the ragout once, with plenty of onions I just about managed it. Also had it breaded in Germany - disgusting !

I think adventurous eaters will like most Polish food. I had a lot of visitors who like chlodnik and zurek. Things that are never a hit are carp (either greasy or muddy tasting), flaki, herrings, piwo grzane.
wrocek - | 1    
7 May 2017  #34

Pierogi, not pierogies.
peoples,mices, feets, childrens, geeses, teeths, lices, oxens
Lyzko 17 | 3,640    
7 May 2017  #35

"Peoples" though IS only correct in the sense of "peoples of the earth", referring to "tribes" or "races" ("lud" or "plemie")!
:-)
Roger5 2 | 1,450    
8 May 2017  #36

What is the point of borsch? It's essentially red water. Without a good dollop of cream it wouldn't taste of anything.
Why are Poles so mean when they make chicken soup? Rosol (what happened to Polish letters?) is too thin.
mafketis 16 | 4,725    
8 May 2017  #37

Pierogi, not pierogies.

I'll stop saying pierogies when Polish people stop saying Ekismosi, hipisi and Beatelsi

In (American) English the most common forms are

one pierogi, twp pierogies
rozumiemnic 9 | 3,328    
8 May 2017  #38

Sadly, the opportunity never arose.

I dont think you missed much tbh.
Most all of the old Pie and Mash shops are gone now.
I once tried 'eels and liquor with mash' in an old pie shop in the early 90s.
It was honestly the most disgusting food I had tasted in my life.
jon357 70 | 12,786    
8 May 2017  #39

essentially red water

Rosol (what happened to Polish letters?) is too thin.

Years ago, it was probably much better and safer than drinking plain water - rather like small beer in some other countries.

Now botwinka is a wonderful soup - the colour could be off-puttting to a visitor, however the taste is excellent.
DominicB - | 2,219    
8 May 2017  #40

What is the point of borsch? It's essentially red water.

When done well, it has a rather robust flavor, both from the beets and from the spices. Quite nice on a cold day.

As for chicken soup, that is, unfortunately, very difficult to make because practically all of the chicken sold in stores is far too young to have any flavor, and practically no chickens are allowed to live long enough to develop any flavor. You need to have a connection in the countryside that can provide you will an very old rooster or hen. Sometimes, you see them at the farmers market, but only if you get there right at opening time. You'll never see them in stores.
jon357 70 | 12,786    
8 May 2017  #41

When done well,

It rarely is. Even restaurants use instant or concentrated.
DominicB - | 2,219    
8 May 2017  #42

@jon357

Had a fantastic homemade one at my favorite restaurant in all of Poland, Dworek in Cieszyn, right on the Czech border. Best placki I ever ate in my life, too. Better than my grandmother's, and that's an accomplishment.

dworek-cieszynski.pl
jon357 70 | 12,786    
8 May 2017  #43

A good one is ok - what do you prefer it served with?

Another soup that looks surprising to visitors is Ogorkowa.
mafketis 16 | 4,725    
8 May 2017  #44

Another soup that looks surprising to visitors is Ogorkowa.

Especially for Americans, many of whom don't really distinguish between ogórki kwaszone (brined) and konserwowe (pickled) cucumbers...

One of the weirdest comments I remember about Polish food was an Irish colleague who one day at lunch said his (ogórkowy) soup had "that Polish taste" it turned out he was talking about dill.

I sometimes think one of the unremarked boundaries in Europe is the dill belt (countries where fresh dill is added to many different kinds of dishes) and those where it isn't. In Romania I once had moussaka that had dill in it. It was delicious.
Lyzko 17 | 3,640    
8 May 2017  #45

In general, Polish food I've had, both here and in Poland, is quite a salty affair:-) Northern Europeans do love their fat and lard to a far greater degree than the Italians, preferring (the healthier) olive oil.

Probably, most of the authentic Polish specialties would have to be "Americanized" to suit US health requirementsLOL
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #46

"Americanized"

Wouldn't that be the equivalent of being "chemicalised"?
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #47

chicken sold in stores

American super markets sell something called stewing chicken (mature fatty hens) which are good for soup. In the olden days, peasants and others doing back-breaking work needed every calory they could get and cherished hot rosół with 1/4 inch of golden fat at the surface. Nowadays, it's best to refrigerate the soup over night and remove the congealed fat the next day. But don't chuck it out. Cut into pieces, wrap in cling foil and freeze. Great for frying, making gravy or adding to meatless soups for flavour.
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #48

"that Polish taste"

One thing about most Polish soups (broths are exceptions) is a more or less tart flavour. Not only red and white barszcz, brined-cucumber soup and żurek but even mushroom soup, bean, tomato, lentil and pea soup et al.

Poland's most popular fresh herb is chopped dill, the most typically Polish dried herb is marjoram.
gregy741 3 | 1,008    
18 May 2017  #49

One thing about most Polish soups (broths are exceptions) is a more or less tart flavour

dunno,many are sour,
but tomato or onion soup are rather sweet. grochowka is meaty.maybe alot depends of local traditions.
in my home there was almost always meat ,or smoked sausage (like briton beans,or white barszcz) ,in most of them soups.
not in tomato one tho,there is no meat there.it came either with pasta or rice.so many soups had meaty flavour
but i remember living in Silesia and food was much different there than in my Kresy area
Atch 12 | 1,749    
18 May 2017  #50

grochowka

I make it with boczek wedzony. (Sorry I can't do the Polish diacritics on my keyboard). Gives it a lovely smoky under-taste. It's actually very much the same recipe as English split pea soup except the English stuff is made with green split peas which you don't seem to have in Poland, I've never seen them anyway and when I asked about them I was told there was no such thing!
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #51

English split pea soup

Do the English season their grochówka with marjoram? it's an absolute must for Polish yellow split-pea soup. My late mum-in-law had a trick that no-one could put their finger on but created a exceotionally nice grochówka. She threw in one whole dried Bolete mushroom at the start if the many-hour-long simmering. It didn't make the soup taste mushroomy, only enriched, deepened and enhanced the overall flavour.

P.S. If you're using Word you can find all the world's diacritcal letters in the Insert/Wstaw section of the toolbar -- even Vietnamese and Navajho Indian.
gregy741 3 | 1,008    
18 May 2017  #52

it's an absolute must for Polish yellow split-pea soup.

i dunno,,i think we used dill at home from what i remember.in my area we even use medium white bean for making soup..and it taste so similar to grochowka.

but near where i lived we produce alot of bean..cus its best soil in Poland,south east Poland black soil
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #53

grochowka.

It's called fasolówka.
Chemikiem 4 | 894    
18 May 2017  #54

quite a salty affair

Not being a salt lover I have noticed this too, dishes tend to be very overladen with the stuff.

fat and lard

I did try smalec once but I have to say I'm not a fan. Someone made me zrazy a few years ago which was initially fried in smalec, and although I loved the dish, I could taste the smalec throughout it. Same with lard, I can always tell when something has been cooked in the stuff.

Polish soups

Soups are what the Poles do really well, I've had some terrific soups over the years. One I haven't yet tried is duck blood soup, czernina/czarnina? Not sure if I would like it though. Doesn't sound too appetising.
mafketis 16 | 4,725    
18 May 2017  #55

One I haven't yet tried is duck blood soup, czernina/czarnina? Not sure if I would like it though.

Oddly, it has a kind of sweet chocolatish taste (an American co-worker said her Polish father called it chocolate soup and she loved it..... until she found out the secret ingredient after which she couldn't touch it....)
Chemikiem 4 | 894    
18 May 2017  #56

secret ingredient

Yeah, it definitely puts me off a bit, but I think I would give it a go if it was offered. Especially if it has a chocolatey taste :-)
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #57

Doesn't sound too appetising

It has a rich, fruity-meaty, lightly spicy taste that defies easy description. It is served over pasta, potato dumplings or just cooked potatoes. A lot of dishes few people would eat if they knew what went into them, like the lowly frankfurter for instance.
OP Polonius3 1,019 | 12,554    
18 May 2017  #58

chocolate soup

In the American Polonia the US-born kids of Polsh parents would call it chocolate soup & bullets. The bullets were the little ball-shaped potato dumplings.
Chemikiem 4 | 894    
18 May 2017  #59

The bullets were the little ball-shaped potato dumplings.

Were they often overcooked? ;)
DominicB - | 2,219    
19 May 2017  #60

czernina/czarnina

By far more familiar to Polish-Americans than to Poles. Apparently, it was considered quite the delicacy in 19th century Poland, and immigrants to the US made it a popular and integral part of their cuisine, whereas it died out in Poland. I never encountered it at all during my twelve years in Poland, though, nor anyone who had ever eaten it. The only times I heard it mentioned was as a direct literary reference to Pan Tadeusz.

Superb if cooked well. One of the culinary high points of Polish American cuisine. Truly awful if not (noodles or macaroni???????). Haven't had it in years, though, since my grandmothers died. Suspect it has mostly died out here, too.

As for "secret ingredients" that give soups in today's Poland their characteristic flavor, completely unfamiliar to Polish Americans, they are Vegeta, an flavor enhancer imported originally from Yugoslavia, Maggi, "European soy sauce" originally imported from Switzerland,and Knorr bullion cubes, a German invention. All three contain MSG. And, of course, salt. A lot of it. I never touched a salt-shaker during my stay in Poland, nor had any reason to.




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